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One Simple Thing That Can Improve Your Day

 

Although working at Angelic Organics Learning Center means working for a place that supports mindfulness, healthy eating, and exercising, I find it all too easy to trap myself inside behind a computer screen in the long, Midwestern winters.

I have developed the bad habit of working through my lunch, not paying due respect to the delicious food that I am privileged to eat. Instead, I take bites between emails in order to quiet my growling stomach. And I know better. Lately, my joints have joined in the chorus of complaining body parts, alerting me to the need to get up and move my body more during the day.

Last week, I read a New York Times blog about the benefits of a lunchtime walk. Gretchen Reynolds, the article’s author, explains how a walk during lunch time can positively affect mood and help to deal with stress. While it’s not surprising that walking has many benefits for the mind and body, this new Scandinavian study tracked immediate benefits of a lunchtime walk in otherwise inactive office workers and showed that walking for a half-hour increased relaxation, improved enthusiasm, and decreased nervousness.


It was the kick that I needed to change up my routine again and face the cold, northerly winds and tune my awareness to the voice of the farm.

Today, I took 15 minutes of my lunch to walk outside in the snow before eating. It felt so wonderful to reconnect with the farm, exploring the landscape blanketed in snow. The slippery ground reminded me that I needed to pay attention and be present with each step.

Snowflakes made their descent around me; covering the winter cover crops in the fields and drifting into the vegetable pack area, coating the quieted equipment. Before long, these areas will be a flurry of human activity as the farm crew tends the fields. But for now, it is just the snow - and me observing and listening.

The brightly colored buildings, inspired by the town of San Miguel de Allende, seem to stand out even more in the otherwise monochromatic landscape. The wind was a whisper through the trees; the only other sounds on the hushed farm were the crunch of my boot steps and the sound of breathing.

 

Angelic Organics, CSA, organic farm, mindfulness, benefits of walking

This short walk through the fields of the farm did boost my mood and inspired me. While there is an endless amount of interesting information to digest on my computer screen, I have been registering it lately as overwhelming noise and have been craving real world experiences. This lunchtime walk was the perfect way to break away from the noise and tune into the landscape around me.

I came across this quote by Alan Watts recently that will go down as one of my all-time favorites and it perfectly explains the beauty that can be captured at any moment if we allow ourselves to step away from our screens and be a part of it all.

“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?”*

I encourage you to step out into the cold and feel the moment on your face.


 

By Jessie Crow Mermel, Communications Coordinator and On-Farm Educator


*Quote by Alan Watts from The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are